Please keep the noise down

Please remember in the morning that just because you are up, you don’t have to wake the Myrtleville residents. Please keep the noise down. You can enjoy your swim without making excessive noise. Here’s a polite reminder from one resident. To be blunt, they shouldn’t have to remind us – politely or not. 

Hi swimmers, since early morning swimming has commenced again. I would like to remind you that because of the physical features of our beloved Myrtleville noise such as voices in conversation and car doors banging is very amplified. We frequently have noise late into the night from cars, their occupants and their music so the sleep window for residents can be quite brief. I would be most grateful to you if you could take these realities into consideration and I wish you continued enjoyment and benefit from your swimming 🏊🏻‍♀🏊‍♂

2020 RNLI Myrtleville to Church Bay Swim

Grand stretch in the evenings, so it’s time to start planning for the big event.

The 2020 RNLI Myrtleville to Church Bay 2km open water sea swim will take place on Wednesday July 8th, 2020 at 7.00 pm. Mark your diaries!

Entries will open in March and will close at 14.00 on Tuesday, July 7th, 2020.

DSA Announcement

It is with great sadness that the Sanctions Committee of the Dutchman Swimming Association must report on a recently uncovered cheating scandal, which strikes at the heart of all for which the DSA stands. 

As many of you will know, the DSA has strongly supported the – pretty useless – efforts of Mr. Bernie Lynch to swim around our beloved rocks in some kind of a semblance of a straight line.  Years we’ve been supporting him – years.  Here’s an example of the kind of half-assed attempt we’ve had to put up with while still sounding supportive over the years.  Seriously?Despite the embarrassing routinely-submitted evidence of failure, the DSA continued with unflagging support because – sure God help us – we love a trier.  And Bernie?  Sure, Bernie’s a grand fella.  Straight out.  Honest as the day is long.  We thought.

In a shocking turn of events, an anonymous whistle-blower submitted evidence to the DSA that Mr. Lynch was, in fact, WEARING TWO HATS!!!!  This is in direct contravention of rule 74b, subsection 11 which states that one hat only (or none, if you’re Mr. Finbarr) can be worn in all officially-sanctioned Dutchman laps. The evidence was clear – even when hidden under some kind of a pink thing:

An emergency meeting of the Sanctions Committee was called and Mr. Lynch invited to repudiate the allegations.  “Say it ain’t so, Bernie, say it ain’t so”, said the members.  What followed was as blatant an implementation of the Four Ds as you’ll ever see.  Trump would have been only trotting after him.

Dismiss:  “Yerrah what feckin two hats?  Wha?  Me?  Two hats?  Speedo bubble hat? Shag off out of that.  Those bumps under my hat? They’re cornrows – dreadlocks, whatever you call them, like.  Sure I have to tie up my hair some kind of a way”.

Committee: “But Mr. Lynch, we have the pictures”.

Distract: “Pictures?  From that anonymous tout?  Adrian Healy, I’d say.  Him??  Sure he was head to toe in rubber.    A wetsuit, lah.  And he’s calling me for two hats?  What about him?  Wha?  Wha? You’re listening to him?  FFS.”

Committee: “The identity of the anonymous whistle-blower is not relevant.  Anyway, Adrian will be back in togs soon, he was only wearing the suit the one day and he wasn’t trying to submit an official lap claim.  You were.

Distort: “Who said?  Maybe I wasn’t going to submit a claim that day.  Maybe I thought the lines were a bit too bendy.  The rules are all wrong anyway,  Who decides what’s bendy and isn’t?  Who, like?  You?  You? When’s the last time you swam a lap?  And yer man there uses fins.  Feckin one-armed bandit.  Who’s he to say if my lines are bendy?  Anyway, that was a special cold hat.  To make my head colder.  For extra effort, like.

(This went on for quite some time.  The range of counter-allegations and digressions would have done Michael Lowry proud, not to mind Trump).

Committee:  Regardless of all that.  The evidence is clear and sanctions are merited.

(Note: The committee chairman got a book for Christmas of “Fancy things to say at a meeting to sound like you know what you’re doing” by Frank Murphy. It’s very good.  It’s allowing him to replace previous ripostes like “g’wan ya langer” with stuff like “clear” and “merited”.  Fancy, like.)

Dismay: “I don’t believe this.  This is crap.  I’ll leave.  I’ll become a Slapper (Sandycove lapper – obvs).  They’ll accept any ould lap down there, wearing anything. They’d even give ya feckin hats for a lap.  I’ll leave AND I’LL TAKE THE SHAGGIN’ BUOYS WITH ME!!!!”

It’s fair to say that as Mr. Lynch completed his classic implementation of the fourth D, the meeting disintegrated somewhat and the book of fancy things to say went out the window.  G’wan ya langer, echoed loud and clear.

Further meetings may be required.  For now, Mr. Lynch is suspended and if anyone sees him with a load of buoys in a trailer headed for Kinsale- slash his tyres.

Vampire Swim – Saturday, October 26th at 2pm

FROM AISLING BARRY AND MARIE WATSON:

The Vampire Swim will take place next Saturday at 14.00 in Myrtleville.   

Registration is via email to vampireswimcork@gmail.com and there are hats for the first 50 registered.  No registration number, no swim.  The Donation for the swim is €5 for those who have given a blood donation and €10 for non-donors. 

Please GIVE BLOOD.

Make an appointment at St. Finbarr’s and you’ll be prioritised over walk-ins.  

This year all funds raised will go to support Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre Program & Cork Lions Club.

Vampire Swim, Open water, sea swimming in Cork, Ireland.

Burstin for a swim – Jim Shalloo’s channel epic

I’m sure Jim will have his own version of his several days out in channel land, but I’m just going to capture – for posterity – a few of the happenings around the actual swim.  Kind of a colour piece, to be fancy about it.

Channel waiting is a pain in the ass.  Are we going?  Are we going now?  Is it windy?  In Dover?  No?  In Wissant?  Yes? Now Dover?  Wissant?   Days and days of it. Seriously, it’d drive you to drink.  Or at least that’s how I rationalised this pic I got from our channel hero a few days before the planned swim dates. Jim’s take on carb-loading shouldn’t really have been a surprise to me, as the top swimmers have nutrition plans that might not suit those of us less gifted athletes.

Finally the word came to get to Dover and I sprang into action, booking flights and accommodation.  Ryanair first thing on Friday morning and the closest I could get to Dover – the Grand Burstin Hotel in Folkestone – for the overnight.  Jim was supposed to swim early on Saturday, so the hotel was going to be a brief stop.  As long as it had beds, how bad could it be?   Bad. It could be bad.  Very, very bad.  

Apart from needing an extra hour to get through the airport while Bernard greeted the hundred or so people he knew, the flight went fine.  We’d have got to Dover quite handily if Bernard hadn’t directed us on a shortcut to Varne Ridge to meet Finbarr.  Here’s a view of a part of the shortcut.  One of the wide parts.

We went to do the normal channel stuff – swim in Dover, see the statue etc. Here’s Captain Shalloo (Lieutenant Commander (Ret’d) to be precise) meeting Captain Webb.

Then we went to the hotel.  The Grand Burstin Hotel, Folkestone.  Make a note of it, people.  Make a big note.  On the note write NFW.  In big red letters.

All I can say in my defence for booking the place is that other channel swimmers have stayed there.  I don’t know how, but they did.  Where to begin?  I suppose the first indication that we might have a problem would have been the man entering the lobby being led by a pit bull.  In said lobby he met another man – holding two alsatians.  We didn’t know it then, but they were wise men.  They had brought protection.

The hallway to the rooms gave us further warning of what we were getting into.  We were on A-Wing.  I’d hazard a guess that A-Wing in the H-Blocks was more salubrious – even during the dirty protests.

The room was hot.  Sauna hot.  One window opened an inch. It did not help for temperature reduction.  The room was not clean.  Finbarr will usually walk anywhere in bare feet, having soles like leather.  Finbarr would not walk in this room without flip flops.  The squishy stuff on the carpets would melt his feet.  He was sure. 

Here are four reviews from TripAdvisor for the Grand Burstin Hotel for around the time of our stay.  You’ll get the idea.  Might have been a good plan if I’d checked them first -rather than Finbarr calling them out to me while we were in the room. Sweating.

  • Appalling – worst hotel I’ve ever stayed at.
  • OMG – worst hotel ever.
  • Below any acceptable standard.
  • Absolutely horrendous.

These reviews are kind.  Very kind.   

Bernard went to the hotel bar to get some water – to pour over our heads as the sweat rolled off us.  He got back.  That was good, because it wasn’t a certainty he would.  While Bernie queued for the water bottles, one man – a representative sample of the hotel clientele, it must be said – loudly advised his female partner to “Shaht the fahk ahp, yew stewpid fahkin cahnt”.  Bernard did not engage him in conversation and, in fact, did a commendably military impression of “eyes front”.

We sweated in the sauna-room waiting for the call on the swim.   Through the inch of open window in the sauna, we heard the following piece of friendly banter from outside.  “Shank ‘im!!  Go on, fahkin shank ‘im!!  I’ll fahkin shank yew ya bastahhd.” etc.  And more in the same vein.  A good night was proceeding in Folkestone.  Ten minutes later we heard the swim was off, so Bernard insisted we should go outside to join the revellers – and hopefully stop sweating. 

The bouncer (yes, the hotel door had a bouncer) looked at us and asked “You’re not going outside?”, in disbelief.  Bernard (it was all his idea) confirmed we were.  The bouncer looked us over and said “Well, you’ve a few big guys and if you all stay together you should be ok.”  I am not making this up.  Bernard still made us go out.

To be fair, once he’d seen inside the door of a couple of the dives near the hotel and the state of the crowd falling around the place, even Bernie gave up.  We ended up sitting outside the door of the hotel among the debris.  It gave us a nice view of the police car pulling up and the two officers disappearing at speed into the hotel – possibly looking for Bernard’s friend from the bar, or some of the happy shankers still wandering the area.

We got out alive the next morning and more swimming at Swimmers Beach was done and a visit made to the White Horse.  By this stage, Jim was off the drink for almost four days, so he topped up the carbs with Bernard during Saturday and I drove us back to Heathrow.  Unfortunately, that carb-loading proved to be unwise as a call came at the airport to say – “turn around, come back, swim tomorrow…”.   

I had been shown to be singularly useless at getting Jim across the channel, so I was dispatched home with Bernard.  The call went out for more experience.   Enter The Bull.

In summary for this second attempt and to give credit where it’s due, Rob at least got as far as buying all the food for the crossing and getting Jim greased up.  He also didn’t risk lives with his choice of accommodation. Then the swim was cancelled.  Again. 

They had a picnic on the beach, David took all the remaining food back to London to feed the starving masses, Finbarr started driving home – again – and Rob and Jim dealt with the carbs.  Trojan workers for the carbs, the lads.  Trojan.

So that was round two.  No channel joy.  No joy with me, no joy with Rob.  Plenty of carbs, but no joy.  Time to get serious.  One week later, there was a new boss.  Unlike what The Who said, it was not the same as the old boss(es).  Enter Carol.

Carbs?  Well, carbs just weren’t on the menu any more.

Doesn’t Jim look happy on the H2O?    Maybe not.  But he certainly did the next day.  Carol was in charge.  Jim swam the channel.  Simple.  Then normal service resumed.

So there you have it – a lesson in channel swimming.  You can call The Burstin-Booker.  You can call The Bull.  But if you want to swim the channel – call Carol. 

Oh, and don’t book The Burstin.  Don’t ever book The Burstin.

Myrtleville Lap Hats – Questions Answered

The response to the new lap recognition system has been most gratifying, with so many swimmers working towards their chosen level.  However, as with all new systems which are innovative – indeed, groundbreaking in a watery kind of way – queries have arisen.  The most recent committee meeting pontificated as follows on said queries:

Q. Can I sell my laps to other people if I have loads of them? (Denis – he never lost it.)

A. Yes, definitely.  Also, if you find someone willing to buy laps, the committee has a unique first edition crayon copy of the Book of Kells and also the title deeds to Patrick’s Bridge for sale.  Be sure to put them on to us.

Q. What’s the story with the buoys only being there for April to October – how does this effect lap-counting relative to other lap-counting systems?  

A. This is adjusted with reference to the Myrtleville Multiplier.  As you can only swim around the buoys for seven months of the year, you need to multiply your laps completed by 1.714287 to calculate annual laps towards your langerload of them.

For example, if you took the number of laps Gary Frost has completed in the last month and multiplied it by 1.714287, you would get – about 1.714287, or maybe a bit less.  Doing a lot of standing on the beach, is Gary.

Q. What about really cold water laps – how are they handled?

A. Since the buoys aren’t there for the depths of Winter, it’s possible that really cold won’t come into the equation.  However, if it does get below 5c and a lap is completed, the committee has determined that the swimmer concerned will immediately merit a hat.  It will be known, obviously enough, as an Ice LOL.  Loop the Loop, probably.